Twice Baked Potatoes
I don’t think I’m alone on this, but I have to say, I love twice baked potatoes. As much as I love potatoes in most forms – be they mashed, fried, baked, cheesy, etc. – I think twice baked might be at the top of the list. Really, what’s not to love? Bacon, cheese, sour cream, green onion, and the ever-loved potato? There isn’t one thing on the list of ingredients that doesn’t sound delicious on its own, let alone combined with each other!
This recipe is originally from Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman. In her post, she says these potatoes are “Simple. Man-pleasin’. Delicious.” I’m going to be honest, I did not make these for my man; I made these for me. In fact, I paired them with grilled steak. While this might sound like a perfect meal for a man, it was totally selfish. Ryan is not a steak-eater, but I am. I should say, Ryan was not a steak-eater because this meal changed his mind. He wasn’t really excited about the steak or the potatoes. I think I won him over on both counts. I don’t eat steak often, especially since Ryan has not been a fan of it in the past, but I’m originally from the Midwest so I can definitely enjoy a meat-and-potatoes meal with the best of them.
Without changing the recipe drastically, I did lighten it some by using light butter, light sour cream, and reduced-fat cheese. Admittedly, I used these ingredients because it is what we had on-hand, but I don’t think they detracted from the decadence of the recipe in any way. I am a huge fan of Cabot’s 50% reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese because it is incredibly flavorful and doesn’t melt weird like some reduced-fat cheese has a tendency to do. Since I didn’t have an shredded cheese (and didn’t feel like breaking out my trusty Salad Shooter), I finely diced two ounces of cheese for the filling and put half a piece of sliced cheese (they’re the size of American cheese slices) on top before baking. This was seriously one of the best potatoes I have ever had in my entire life, and that is really saying something because I have enjoyed my fair share of potatoes. After the first bite, Ryan said it was “pretty good” but the more he ate, the better he liked it though he still prefers his potatoes in wedge form or fried.
I think I am most excited about the prospect of making these recipes in batches and keeping some in the freezer or making them ahead of time for dinner parties. The preparation was easy but a little time-consuming so making them the day before would really simplify the day-of preparations. I am also pretty impressed at the POINTS value for these because they are incredibly satisfying and filling; they taste sinful but, with the few ingredient modifications I made, are much lower in POINTS than one would think.
Twice Baked Potatoes
2 medium potatoes
4 tablespoons light butter
¼ cup pre-packaged bacon pieces
¼ cup light sour cream
dash seasoned salt
2 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, finely diced or shredded, about 1/4 cup
black pepper, to taste
1 medium scallion, thinly sliced
2 slices pre-sliced, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, about 2 ounces
Wash, then place 2 baking potatoes on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 75 minutes, making sure they’re sufficiently cooked through.
Slice 1/2 stick butter, and place into a large mixing bowl. Add bacon pieces and sour cream.
Within a few minutes of removing the potatoes from the oven, begin scraping them out. With a sharp, serrated knife, cut each potato in half lengthwise. With a large spoon, scrap the inside of the potatoes out into the bowl. Be careful to get all the insides out without tearing the shell. Lay the hollow potato shells on a cookie sheet.
Using a potato masher, begin smashing the potatoes with the butter, bacon, sour cream mixture. Add a dash of seasoned salt and a bit of black pepper, to taste. Add the cheese and green onion, and mix well.
Now scoop out some of the potato mixture and begin filling the empty shells. Top each potato with half a slice of the cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.
Note: These are great for making ahead; prior to baking you can freeze or refrigerate the potatoes to use later. If you wish to freeze the potatoes, do not add the green onion. You can also refrigerate the potatoes for up to three days
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks
4 servings | 5 POINTS